Shawn Grate is in jail. Among all of the horrifying things that can be said about him and this case, at least the suspect is in custody and is providing crucial information in the disappearances and deaths of five women in the Ashland area.
On Tues., Sept. 13, a woman called 911 to report that she had been abducted and was being held against her will, an act which resulted in the arrest of one Shawn Grate.
One morning last week — while her abductor, 40-year-old Shawn Grate, slept in the same room — a woman quietly loosened ties binding her to a bed, reached for Grate’s phone, and called 911. Her voice shook when the dispatcher picked up: “I’ve been kidnapped,” she said. She stayed on the call for 19 minutes, softly relaying answers to help police find the abandoned Ohio house where Grate had taken her two days earlier.
This was just the tip of the iceberg of what is becoming a frightening and unsettling case. After the woman was freed, the bodies of two women were then found on the property. The women were Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffith, who both disappeared in 2015.
While in custody, Grate then led the authorities to a third body and is being tied to a fourth case. According to a CBS News article, “Grate confessed to murdering the woman and said she was his first kill. Police say Grate killed her in 2005 after he became upset that she was delivering newspapers and magazines to everyone’s houses but his. Her body was discovered in 2007 and has not been identified.”
However, despite all of that, he pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges of murdering Stanley and Griffith, the bodies of the two women found on his premises. A fifth body was found Monday, “belonging to a woman who was killed in March 2015.”
Grate’s bond was set at $1 million Monday, and according to the CBS article, the police believe he might be connected to more homicides. According to NY Mag, his “extensive arrest record includes previous domestic abuse, identity theft, and marijuana possession charges. Some media reports have described him as homeless, though his FaceBook page reportedly shows he took a maintenance job at Holiday Inn last month.”